This is not so much another nail-in-the-coffin-of-the-independent cliché, it's more like a thumb tack but still, to add metaphors to clichés, it's an itch that Paul Calladine can't scratch.
He runs Bellingham Post Office in the village of Bellingham in Northumberland, and has added his moan about BT's ploy to get customers to pay by direct debit, but with a new twist. "Because I have a post office, the PO pays BT's service charge and line rental. I just pay for my own personal calls which are about £3 a month," says Paul. "So now BT wants another £1.50 on top as a penalty for not paying by direct debit. BT says I would save 50p a month if I paid by direct debit but my bank would charge me 95p for it on my business account."
Paul's business development manager with the PO says no one else has complained about this in his area (the north-east of England). Anyone know different? If enough people complained, head office might do something about it.